Friday, August 30, 2013

Gluten Free Play Dough Recipe (with photos)

Did you know that Play-Doh (by Hasbro) and contained wheat? Many people don't, which means that many mamas wind up with sick kiddos after a day at school and have no idea why!

From the Hasbro FAQ page. Click image to enlarge.

And get a load of this...

Click to enlarge

Yes, even Crayola dough contains the 'ole wheat culprit!

The information above was taken from the Hasbro and Crayola websites, confirming that our beloved Play-Doh, as well as the Crayola dough, do contain wheat and are not safe for some of our children. But, geez, we all remember the good old days of rolling dough balls, creating anything our minds could conjure up - cars, houses, characters, even entire cities! I mean that was fun, right?!

Image from
Image from

If you have a child with a wheat or gluten allergy and did not know that Play-Doh or Crayola contained wheat, I'm sure this news is shocking. At least it was for me. I mean whod'a thunk it? Seriously, you mean it's not just the heavy monitoring of food that we parents have to tackle to keep our kids safe? The answer is no. We must also monitor the products they play with to ensure our wee ones  are protected from the allergy demons lurking at every corner. Just to be safe, as you stock up on craft & school supplies, you should check out this comprehensive list Heidi over at Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom has put together that gives an account of products with and without allergens. It is a God send!

Photo from
So...if your kid is allergic to wheat or gluten, be sure to let your child's teachers know that she is to steer free of Hasbro's Play-Doh and Crayola's Dough. If another brand is being used, be sure to check their ingredients to make sure the product is safe. If the ingredients are not known, ask the teacher to find something else for your wee one to do while the other kids engage in dough play.

All is not lost, however. As you know there are many websites online that have recipes for gluten free play doh. I personally use the one from the Parents website. You can find it here, but I will also include it below.

If you're like me and your child has multiple (like a million) allergies, all of the making-everything-under-the-sun-from-scratch business gets quite overwhelming. One of the things I wish is that every site had pictures to go along with their recipes. I know, I know, it's asking a lot...that's why I said I WISH!!

One of the problems I had when I first made the play dough about three years ago was I did not know what to expect or when I was done! I felt unsure all along the way. I remember saying aloud, "Ugh I wish I had some pictures!!!" But I didn't. It was okay, though, even though I had some failures here and there the first few times I made it., I thought I'd be adventurous and not only allow Ninja to help me make the play dough (it's his second time) but that I would also take pics along the way. Can you say headache? Yes, by the time the fiasco was over my exorcist head was spinning around on my neck, which...I suppose, is why I don't see step-by-step pics with every other person's recipe post, LOL!

We survived once again. My head did not fly off of my neck. And the play dough was another success. I hope my stress will not be in vain and that the photos will help someone, somewhere know they are doing alright as they take the journey to their first batch of gluten free play dough.

Here are the pics of the cooking phases. The recipe is immediately following. Please look through the pics and read through the recipe once in its entirety before beginning. That way you can take in the instructions, as well as my personal notes, and know what to expect as you proceed.

After 1 minute cooking time. Stir continuously.

After 2 minutes cooking time. Stirring is pretty easy at this point.

After approx 3.5 minutes cooking time. You will see it beginning to solidify in places.
Stirring gets a little sluggish.

After 4 minutes cooking time. You will notice the color getting darker where it is becoming solid.
Now there is not so much "stirring" but more like "flipping." Flip constantly.
Press the dough deeply with the spoon on each flip, to make sure it is getting heat evenly.

After 5 minutes cooking time. Keep flipping and pressing.

After 5.5 minutes. Keep flipping and pressing.

After 6 minutes cooking time. Another view of me pressing down with the spoon.

After 6.5 minutes cooking time. Flipping gets harder. The dough begins to stick to the spoon.
Flip and knock the dough off the spoon with your fingers. Be careful, it's hot.

Exactly 7 minutes cooking time. I rolled it into a ball for the pic, but it was hot!


1/2 c. Rice flour (I use Authentic Foods Superfine White Rice Flour)
1/2 c. Corn starch
1/2 c. Salt
2 t. Cream of tartar
1 c. Water
1 t. Cooking oil (I use canola)
Food coloring (optional)

Whisk dry ingredients together in a sauce pan. Add water, oil, and food coloring (I used approximately 9 drops of yellow to get the color you see in the photo). Cook on low heat (I cooked it at about 3 on my stove top) for 5 minutes, or until it forms a ball (I cook mine for 7 minutes, as the 3-5 minute recommendation that is recommended on other sites yielded me a very sticky and frustrating mess). Cool completely before storing in a sealable plastic bag or airtight container. My son is impatient so we often play with it warm without issue, but I do not store it until it is completely cool.



  1. My little ninja really LOVES his play dough too. I don't know which he enjoys more, rolling it into balls and playing bump bump balls or flattening it out and cutting out shapes with cookie cutters. He does so enjoy both activities.

    This recipe is awesome and the results are amazing!

  2. He does love it! We have the most fun making "pancakes" and "mini pizzas". The gluten free play dough has been a God send! Thanks for stopping by!